Formula 1 – George Russell (Mercedes) shocked by his pole: “We have to study this to understand where it comes from”

He had burst the screen in Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes at the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix, leading ahead of his teammate Valtteri Bottas. History had ended badly and, back at Williams, he had dragged his crashes at Imola, all alone during a neutralization in 2020, and with Valtteri Bottas in 2021, like cannonballs.

But England hadn’t nicknamed him “Mister Saturday” for nothing. For a good reason and a bad one. Capable of rousing the Williams from its torpor in qualifying, with a second place on the grid at Spa and a third at Sochi. Without ever confirming on Sunday, except at the grotesque Belgian Grand Prix last year.

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Promoted at Mercedes this season, he has become a reliable driver, finishing in the top 5 each time. Except at Silverstone, because of his retirement following the accident of Guanyu Zhou (Alfa Romeo). Holding in respect his prestigious teammate in qualifying (6-6), he was waiting for a bang to really make his entry into the club of recognized drivers. He has now achieved this with this sensational pole position, which came out of nowhere on Saturday at the Hungaroring. At the end of an anthology lap, given the level of the Mercedes this season, the 24-year-old Briton, a native of King’s Lynn, achieved a prodigious blow, worthy of the hopes placed in him by his boss, Toto Wolff, who the question of his choice no longer arises.

Block for victory!

“I’m so happy !exclaimed GR63, hot. Yesterday was our worst Friday of the year, we had worked so hard without knowing which way to go. Then there was this last lap: I took a super corner n°1, then a super n°2, then the lap times fell, fell. Crossing the finish line, I looked at the screen and saw P1. It was an amazing feeling!”

But, lucid about his chances of victory over 70 laps, he added: “We have to study this to understand where it comes from. We will absolutely go for the win!”

As for Lewis Hamilton he was beaten with the circumstances of the technique. “I tried to open the DRS and it wouldn’t open, it’s a bit of bad lucksaid the man with eight record victories in Hungary. It was a great feeling, the pole or the first row was within our reach, for sure. It would have been huge to make the 1st line for the team, but these are things that happen. Congratulations to George. He did a sensational job and it’s a great result for the team. Considering everything we’ve been through, it’s huge and I’m so happy for everyone. It’s huge and we really didn’t expect it.”

Wolff hopes to have rhythm on Sunday

“We’re going to write down everything we did this morning, including everything we ate and drank to replicate it.joked Toto Wolff, on the set of Sky Sportsthe British Formula 1 broadcaster, before getting serious again. The truth is that we saw from the start of qualifying that our tires were in the right window and the car was balanced. They rode very well, then gained confidence from run to run and this is the result.”

“Right now you would like to cry with joy for pole position, but you also know that Lewis’ car was good to be for that too.continued the Austrian boss. It’s really a sweet statement – very, very bitter. It’s a solid result: we’ve always been dropped on the single lap, and now we’re on pole. So let’s see what we can do on Sunday. If we have the pace, I feel like we can have fun up front.”

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